Fairer power to the people
By Craig Morley Monday 16 March 2015
You may have heard us talking about our ground-breaking new partnership with Cheshire East Council. They’ve become the first community energy supplier to open for business in the UK since 1948 – that’s over 60 years ago.
In that time the energy industry has gone from hundreds of local generators and suppliers giving Brits huge amounts of local choice, to six giants who own 90% market share.
Last year we did a lot of thinking about how we can drive change, how we as an independent energy supplier can be instrumental in creating the tipping point which will shift power back to consumers. And what we discovered is that the issue lies in trust. We posed the question to ourselves, if energy companies aren’t trusted to supply energy, who might be?
The results were clear: people trust local over centralised and they trust small over big. Three times more people believe they would get a fairer deal from a local community energy supplier than a big energy company.
So we launched ‘OVO Communities’ back in April last year with the support of Ed Davey, the Secretary of State.
OVO Communities is a toolkit, a shareable platform, for local authorities, housing associations and community groups to become energy suppliers. Not necessarily to generate energy, though we’ll support that too, but actually to sell energy, like we do.
That was 11 months ago and here we are today launching a partnership which marks a seismic shift in the UK energy retail market as we know it. Today’s news also proves that you don’t need to be a big energy company to keep the lights on.
We’re proud to partner with Cheshire East Council as our first OVO Communities partner and we’re proud that - Fairerpower - the tariff created by Cheshire East Council exclusively for its 170,000 residents will be offering potential savings of up to £250 a year.
Fairerpower will also offer all the great benefits that OVO already provides its customers such as award winning customer service, a 3% interest reward on credit balances and no exit fees.
Over 500 households have registered interest in switching to Fairerpower and of the locals that have already switched we’ve recorded savings of between £240 - £256. What’s important to note is that these savings have been made by those who are savvy and switch yearly but also one family who hadn’t switched for over five years!
Our OVO Communities team are also working on two further partnerships with Peterborough City Council and Sounthend-on-Sea Borough Council that will launch imminently, so watch this space.
It’s time to bring power back to the people.